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First Pacific Whanau Ora service launched in Northland

First Pacific Whanau Ora service launched in Northland

Health, social services and education provider The Fono has launched the first Northland Pacific Whanau Ora Service at the Kaikohe Memorial Hall on Friday. Whanau Ora is an inclusive approach to providing services and opportunities to families, and the service is the first of its kind specifically for Pacific families residing in Northland. In attendance were Maori Party Co-leader and Member of Parilament Hon. Marama Fox, members of the local Pacific community and the Te Hau Ora o Kaikohe Charitable Trust.

The Fono provides affordable services including medical, dental, pharmacy, health promotion, social services, education and Whanau Ora. Bringing a Pacific Whanau Ora service to the Northland town of Kaikohe will raise the profile of Pacific people far more than locals realise, says Falesiu Fotu, The Fono’s Northland Whanau Ora Navigator.

“There are more Pacific people here than you may realise. There are a lot of mixed Maori and Pacific families and there are a lot of Pacific people living here who would like the opportunity to be part of a Pacific organisation,” says Falesiu Fotu, who worked for Te Hau Ora o Kaikohe and will remain based at their offices.

Whanau Ora is a government funded initiative that empowers families as a whole, rather than focusing separately on the individual and their problems. 3,000 Pacific families selected from across New Zealand will are participating in the The Whanau Ora programme from early 2015, which initially runs for three years.

Chief Executive of The Fono, Tevita Funaki, says the launch of Pacific Whanau Ora services in Northland is an exciting step, both for whanau and for The Fono. Pacific families who need support with financial, education, health management or connecting with their communities will be assessed for eligibility.

“Whanau Ora is about building the capability and capacity of Pacific families by supporting them to achieve their aspirations in health, housing, education, training and economic development. This is the first Whanau Ora service specifically for Pacific families in Northland, where the need is great,” says Funaki.

“We fully realise that our work with our whanau has only just begun”.


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